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     National Capital Region (NCR)

        a. Composed of 16 highly urbanized cities and one municipality: Cities of Manila,                                              Mandaluyong, Marikina, Pasig, Quezon City, San Juan, Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas,                                  Valenzuela, Las Pinas, Makati, Muntinlupa, Paranaque, Pasay, Taguig, and the                                              municipality of Taguig. 

        b. Has turned into a hub of commerce, trade, industry, and education over the years.

        c. Facts about NCR:

                i.   Millions of Filipinos flock to NCR for better opportunities and a chance for a                                                   brighter future - unfortunately, many fail to achieve their right to housing

                     and become part of many informal settlement communities.

               ii.   Recently, under the Duterte presidency, informal communities in Metro Manila                                             have been targeted by the government’s War on Drugs. Human rights groups have                                     documented thousands of victims but their cries for justice remain elusive. They had                                   also suffered physically (to the point of imprisonment, and even death, for some!)                                         during the Martial Law.


              iii.   Many radical groups have been targeted by officials and agencies and tagged as                                        “communists” or “terrorists;” because of this, several organizations have emphasized                                   their opposition towards the national government in order to defend themselves

                     from these accusations. There have been incidents all over the country as well

                    wherein activists have been arrested on these false claims leading to more outcries                                     especially on social media.




        a. This city is the capital of Lanao del Sur and is located in Northern Mindanao.

        b.  Facts about Marawi

             i.  The people, through their Maranao warriors, fiercely resisted the Spanish military                                          forces who attempted to colonize them in 1640 It was only on March 10, 1895 

                  when the Spanish forces succeeded and conquered the Fort of Marawi

            ii.  Being predominantly Muslims by faith, it was declared an Islamic City by its City                                           Council in 1980.

        c.  Conflicts in the region:

             i.   On May 23, 2017, the terrorist Maute Group attacked different parts of Marawi 

                  City and occupied the city, particularly the commercial and city center. 

             ii.  Later that year, in October, the government declared Marawi was “liberated” from

                  the group and a comprehensive rehabilitation program was underway. Of its

                  96 barangays, 24 were found to be the most affected, and around 100,000

                  of its residents are still living in temporary shelters.

            iii.  The impact of the war, partnered with the inability of the government to meet its                                          promise to rehabilitate the city, has been a source of anger and tension

                  among Marawi’s people. Anti-government sentiment and extremist recruitment

                  even in temporary shelters are reportedly ongoing. 

            iv.  Recruiters have reported to be using money and supposed “support” for Marawi

                 after the siege as a way to fuel the emotions of the city’s citizens.

            v.   The recruits are described to go against the stereotypical image of what

                  violent extremist groups are supposed to target t as they belong to

                  diverse backgrounds, with educational attainments and much knowledge

                  about technology. They have also been said to belong to different Muslim

                  student organizations or have even been alumni from Catholic schools.



    Jolo, Sulu

        a. Facts:


             i.  This municipality is the capital of the Sulu province, one of the most southern

                 parts of our country! Sulu’s islands stretch 170 miles southwest from 

                 Basilan and ends near the eastern shores of Sabah, Malaysia

                         1. Its distance makes it easier (and cheaper!) to travel to Sabah, Malaysia’

                             than going to the mainland city of Zamboanga

             ii.  The Sulu sea along with Indonesian and Celebes seas is the center of the world’s                                        tropical marine biodiversity.

             iii.  In the past,  the Sulu sea was also a hot spot for piracy and armed robbery.

                   Nowadays, Jolo is the center of trade and commerce in the province and

                   has a pier and an airport. Its pier can accommodate small to large vessels, 

                   and even a naval craft. 

             iv.  Unfortunately, its violent past still has remnants on the environment to this

                   day. Foreign organizations and even local figures who work in peace see a

                   cycle of conflict and poverty on the soils of Sulu. This has been attributed

                   to be the source - or at least a defining factor - in the formation and existence

                   of violent groups and their members in the municipality.

              v.  Majority of the people in Jolo and the province of Sulu are Tausugs,

                   meaning "people of the (sea) current.” Tausugs known for their bravery

                   and described as superb warriors as well as great sailors (accompanied by

                   their colorful vintas!). In the region, there are also Samal people (those

                   who once lived on boats but settled inland); and those of Chinese descent.

             vi.  It is an island with many extinct volcanoes and the principal economic activity

                   of the people is fishing. It also has thick forests.





        a. Facts:


             i.  Zamboanga City is a highly urbanized city in the Zamboanga Peninsula

                 with a population of 862,000. It’s located in the southwest region of the country!

                         1. Its distance makes it easier (and cheaper!) to travel to Sabah, Malaysia’

                             than going to the mainland city of Zamboanga

            ii. The dominant people of Zamboanga are called Zamboangeno-Chavacano.

                They speak Chavacano, a Spanish-based creole language. Other ethnic

                groups include the Tausug, Bisaya/Binisaya, Cebuano, Sama (Samal)

                Abaknon, Yakan, Tagalog, Hiligaynon/Ilonggo, and a few others.

           iii. In terms of religion, the city is dominantly Catholic with only 17% of the

                population being Muslims (as of 2017).

           iv. The city has a port that serves vessels plying to and from Basilan, Sulu, Manila,

                and other destinations in the country as well as oceangoing vessels. It also

                has an international airport. 

        b. Conflict in this region:

              i.  Several incidents in the city showcased strong anti-Muslim sentiment in

                  the city’s recent past.

             ii.  Officials have voted against its inclusion in the previous Autonomous

                  Region of Muslim Mindanao because of fears of Muslim domination once the

                  Council is established.

            iii.  When the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain was about

                  to be signed between the MILF and the government, the city voiced its strong


                        i.a. These officials even held a “victory celebration” when the Supreme

                              Court junked the agreement.

           iv.   The city also registered its opposition to the Bangsamoro Basic Law, and

                  rejected inclusion in the Bangsamoro territory.




        a. Facts:


            i.  Davao City is a city within the province of Davao del Sur. With 244, 000

              hectares, thus considered the largest city in the world

           ii. It is known for its production of bananas, coffee, pomelo, durian, mangosteen,

             and many more

         iii. It is the home of current President Rodrigo Duterte; he is known to go back and forth                              between the city and the capital of the country

         iv. The original inhabitants of Davao are indigenous peoples from five tribes -

              Bagobo-Klata, Ata, Obu-Manuvu, Matigsalug, and Bagobo-Tagabawa and

              six 6 Moro tribes - Sama, Maranao, Kagan, Iranun, Maguindanaon, and Taosug.

                   1. These days, Visayan migrants compose the majority of the city’s population

        b. Conflict in this region:

              i.  During the martial law period, Davao City was a hotbed of insurgency

                  with many cases of extrajudicial killings.

             ii.  Davao City has been the target of armed groups, described by authorities as

                 “Muslim terror groups” or Islamic militants.


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